For years, those of us in drug policy reform have pointed out that, while the government talks about prevention and treatment, the federal government budget has always been weighted toward enforcement and interdiction. It’s been really telling that, while they know that supply side spending is ineffective, they’ve still been doing the most there, in part because so many entrenched interests are involved.
Finally, for the first time, the proposed budget is different.
The Presidentâ€™s Budget, submitted to the U.S. Congress today, represents the first time in the history of the Office of National Drug Control Policy that federal funding to reduce the demand for drugs is funded at similar levels as funds to reduce the supply of drugs.
So let me take a moment to congratulate the administration on finally spending less on attacking supply than on demand reduction and treatment. Good for you.
Now that I’ve done that…
They’re still proposing over 15 billion dollars on supply reduction efforts, which is an obscene amount of money to be pouring down that toilet. And out of the 15+ billion being spent on treatment and demand reduction, most of that is wasted as well, given the fact that the federal government is horribly behind in accepting scientific fact, and has its priorities based on political interests rather than good policy.